A psychological evaluation is an assessment of an individual’s mental health, determining whether the person has a mental illness or not. During the review, our doctors carefully check the patient’s medical history and evaluates their mental health, searching for indicators of mental conditions.
Tests and assessments are two separate components of a psychological evaluation. Testing includes formal tests and questionnaires, sometimes referred to as “norm-referenced” tests. These test will grade you in comparison to a standard norm. Assessments include more informal tests, surveys, interviews, school and medical records, and other observational information.
These evaluations assist in determining the potential extent that damage that the mental illness had done up to that point.
These initial steps help in developing an individualized treatment plan.
According to The American Psychiatric Association, there are many warning signs and symptoms that would deem a psych evaluation necessary. Knowing these early warning signs and symptoms are extremely important.
Getting psychological help early in the development of a mental illness can greatly reduce potential problems in the future of one’s health.
A few of the more common warning signs that are often seen include:
Newly developed anxiety and paranoia: Many people develop different suspicions or fears about other people or situations while battling a mental health disorder.
Learning disabilities and difficulty handling problems: Expressing new challenges with rational thinking, speech, memory, and ability to concentrate on specific issues.
A mental health evaluation typically takes between 20 and 90 minutes. With the state of current public health, these evaluations may be done virtually.
Well-known types of testing involved in psychological evaluations include:
Cognitive evaluations screen for cognitive impairments that may negatively affect one’s memory and other mental functions. These tests won’t diagnose a cause, but they can help identify mental problems.
Common cognitive tests include:
Medical professionals conducting a psych evaluation will ask the patient questions regarding a history of their lifestyle, habits, and other things to identify stressors in their life. For example, the therapist may ask direct questions relating to the patient’s career, childhood, family, or marital status.
During the assessment, a doctor may ask about any symptoms they may have been experiencing. They will ask about any psychiatric treatments they have had — whether successful or unsuccessful. They may also ask if there is any history of mental health problems in the family.
There are some instances where a physical impairment may be a large contributing factor in a mental illness. Physical exams are frequently done to help the industry professionals determine if a neurological complication or other forms of physical disorders are to blame for creating the symptoms and side-effects.
Patients are strongly encouraged to be completely transparent with their doctors and inform them about any and all physical conditions that they have already been diagnosed with, that they are aware of, or that already have been advised to take medications to manage.
If you or a loved one has been struggling with mental health, consider getting professional help.
The team at Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center for Mental Health in Mission Viejo, Orange County can help you with an honest evaluation and diagnosis. Our goal is to provide the most helpful services possible to our patients through practical and genuine care.
Call us today with the button below or fill out the insurance verification form on this page to see if you qualify for an insurance-covered psychological evaluation and diagnosis.